Laurie Lawlor: Informational Books

    Magnificent Voyage: An American Adventurer on Captain James Cook's Final Expedition

    In 1776 when Captain James Cook set off on his third and final voyage, a crew of intrepid men sailed with him, including twenty-five-year-old American John Ledyard.

    This riveting account based on Ledyard's writings brings the dramatic events of that historic voyage to life: the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands by Europeans, the attempts to find the Northwest Passage along the treacherous Alaskan coast, the precariousness of life at sea in broken-down ships, and the erratic behavior of Captain Cook. After the expedition neither Ledyard nor the course of history would ever be the same.
    Historical drawings, maps, a chronology, biographies, source notes, and an index are included.

Reviews and Comments

  • Selected for inclusion on the New York Library Books for the Teen Age 2003.
  • "... mainly from the point of view of John Ledyard Š particular circumstances and distinct personality add an intriguing perspective to the already interesting story of Cook's last journey. -- School Library Journal

  • "The narrative, which is sprinkled with maps and contemporary prints, is capped with biographical sketches of featured crewmate... . engrossing. -- Booklist

  • "... a gripping, deftly blended biography of two intersecting lives and the impact the Resolutions's mission had on the indigenous peoples they encountered. -- The Bulletin


  • "Ample supporting material, including fascinating illustrations and maps." -- New York Times

  • "[This text] powerfully and evocatively puts readers on deck as the expedition languishes in the tropics, ... The text is peppered with excerpts from Cook's journals, as well as those of other sailors and retrospective accounts by Ledyard and others (all rendered with 19th-century grammar and spelling intact), and handsomely illustrated with archival materials." -- Kirkus Reviews

  • "Based on the shipboard journals of John Ledyard, just 25 when he joined Capt. James Cook's crew to discover the Northwest Passage in 1776, Laurie Lawlor's Magnificent Voyage: An American Adventurer on Captain James Cook's Final Expedition is thorough and engaging." --Publishers Weekly

  • "Books that might appeal to the younger history buff in the family include ³Magnificent Voyage² by Laurie Lawlor in which she details the exploits of Capt. James Cook¹s final expedition." -- Included in Features Editor, Faye Dasen's column "Faye Dasen: Audiobooks, Historic Fare for Youngsters" in 12/02/02.

  • "This book, aimed at young adults, is actually a book about John Ledyard. Ledyard was the American marine who sailed on Cook's Third Voyage." -- Cited in the NZ James Cook Journal at

  • Cited on Cathryn M. Mercier's booklist for her presentation "Young Adult Books 2002: Capture the Call" for the Massachusetts School Library Media Association (MSLMA) 28 October 2002.

  • "This is a riveting account of James Cook's final voyage from the POV of twenty-five-year-old American John Ledyard.-- a member of the voyage. Cook was involved in the "discovering" of the Hawaiian Islands but in this voyage was searching for the Northwest Passage. An intriguing account filled with history. (middle grades/secondary)" -- McBookwords -- Great Books 2002

    • Magnificent Voyage: An American Adventurer on Captain James Cook's Final Expedition. (2002) Holiday House. ISBN: 0823415759. History

    [Other Informational Books] - [All titles by Lawlor] - [Curriculum Connections - List all titles]